As moms, we want our kids to be successful and to savor all the rewards that come with a job well done. Sadly, it's easy to jump in, to "help" and to hover in such a way that they don't ever experience that satisfaction of having done something well on their own. In the end, I think it leads to kids that lack confidence in their own abilities. I for one don't want to end up with a bunch of boys who don't know how they'll manage if mom isn't in the room.
That's why my kids projects look like they were done by a kid - they were. My boys might not win many contests but they know that what they do win was won by their hard work; not because I helped.
Yesterday Brayden decided he was going to make Cheesecake Brownies all by himself. While he's a terrific helper in the kitchen, I've never seen him take a recipe from start to finish with any competence. Usually, at some point he goes off the rails and mixes up his spoons, starts reading a different recipe on the page and accidentally combines them or he loses interest and tries something crazy like shaping cookie dough into a five-headed hydra and then wonders why it doesn't cook.
I'm sick, migrainous and trying to regrow the end bits of my spinal cord into something functional - the thought of the mess and subsequent disappointment on his part wasn't how I wanted my afternoon to go. But I'm sick right now, not him and he deserves to explore his interests as much as any other day. So I explained that he was on his own (this thrilled him) and let him have at my kitchen.
He used a recipe from Cookies, Biscuits, Bars and Brownies (our library has the best selection of cook books!)
1C full fat cream cheese
1/4 C sugar
4oz bittersweet chocolate (minimum 70%)
1/2 C butter (unsalted is best, we used salted)
3/4 C brown sugar
2 eggs beaten
1/2 C flour
Preheat oven to 325. Grease 8x8 pan and line with parchment
To make cheesecake mixture: beat egg, add all cheesecake ingredients and beat until smooth. Set aside.
To make brownie layer: melt chocolate and butter in microwave. Stir well, add sugar, Add eggs and beat well. Gently stir in flour.
Spread two-thirds of brownie batter in pan. Spread cheesecake mixture on top and then spoon remaining brownie batter in heaps. Use skewer to swirl the two together.
Bake 30-35 minutes, until just set.
The brownies were delicious. So good that we made homemade chocolate sauce and whipped cream to really make an occasion of his first big dessert.